Working, playing, and fighting for control: Steelworkers and shopfloor identity

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


While modern industrial labor relations gave legitimacy to worker directed forms of representation, the quest for industrial democracy was often pursued in less structured ways. Instead of relying on contractual or statutorial prerogatives to determine their shopfloor "citizenship," workers asserted a nonlegal type of ownership claim to their daily work process. Ownership in this sense was tied to an occupational identity which extended beyond the plant gates. Thus, the struggle for control over the work process often took place outside of institutional and formal representational schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Labor history, steel industry
  • Steel industry
  • Work organization, process
  • Workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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